- AFTER INTERNATIONAL PLAY: The Cubs lost last night in their first game since the long trip to London, while the Cardinals, their opponent in the U.K., won. There had been 15 previous times that MLB teams played a game or series outside the United States and Canada. In only two of those 15 did the team that won the last game elsewhere also win its first game back and the team that lost the last game elsewhere also lose: the Mets and Cubs, after their games at Tokyo in 2000, and the Padres and Giants, after their game April 30 at Mexico City. In all first games back, the team that won the last game elsewhere is 5-11 and the team that lost that game is 8-8, for a total of 13-19. Both teams won twice, the winner won and the loser lost three times, the winner lost and the loser won six times, and both lost five times. (Courtesy BCB’s JohnW53)
- BETTER AGAINST THE OTHER DIVISIONS: After Tuesday’s loss to the Phillies, the Cubs are 6-11 vs. N.L. East teams. They are 31-29 against all other teams, including 10-9 vs. N.L. Central teams. The Brewers (11-5) are the only other N.L. Central team with a winning record against N.L. Central opponents.
- STARTING TO TURN IT AROUND: In Cody Bellinger’s first six games after returning from the injured list, he went 2-for-19 (.105) with seven strikeouts. Last three games: 4-for-10 (.400), a double, only one strikeout.
- ALSO TURNING THINGS AROUND: Michael Rucker, last six appearances since May 28: 1.08 ERA, 1.080 WHIP, nine strikeouts in 8⅓ innings.
Here are today’s particulars.
Drew Smyly, LHP vs. Aaron Nola, RHP
Drew Smyly went through a bit of a rough patch for a few starts, but threw five shutout innings against the Pirates in his last start June 19 — which means he’s had eight days off. Hopefully that’s enough for a reset and he’ll come out strong tonight.
His last start vs. the Phillies was almost a year ago, July 24, 2022 in Philadelphia. He held the Phillies to four hits and two runs (one earned) in six innings. One more just like that, please.
Aaron Nola was on the mound May 20 in Philadelphia when the Phillies crushed the Cubs 10-3. He threw seven innings that day and allowed four hits and two runs, striking out 10.
Since then he has a 4.50 ERA and 1.342 WHIP in six starts covering 38 innings. There are a couple of clunkers in there, but in his last start, June 22 vs. Atlanta, he threw six shutout innings, allowing just two hits.
Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee.
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The 2023 Game Thread procedure will be like last year’s, similar to what we’ve used for Spring Training.
You’ll find the game preview posted separately on the front page two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).
At the same time, a StoryStream containing the preview will also post on the front page, titled “Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of week/date) game threads.” It will contain every post related to that particular game, including the first pitch thread and the overflow thread, as well as the recap when it’s published. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post.
You will also be able to find the preview, first pitch thread and the overflow thread in the box marked “Chicago Cubs Game Threads” at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). The StoryStream for each game can also be found in that section.
The first pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at 90 minutes after the scheduled game time.
Discuss amongst yourselves.